Taking part in some form of regular exercise at some point in your life could be the key to having better cognitive health as you age.
The earlier in your life that you partake in regular exercise, the greater benefit you will receive according to the study conducted by the University College London Medical School.
The results were published in the Journal of Neurology,Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Researchers looked at how timing, frequency and continuation of being physically active over the course of 30 years in adulthood is linked with cognitive function in the senior years.
The British cohort study involved 1,417 participants with 53% being female and 47% being male. Participants reported five times between the ages of 36 and 69 their engagement in leisure time physical activity which was then categorized by the researchers into one of three categories. At age 69, participants were given Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-III to determine their cognitive abilities as well a word learning test and a visual search test to determine processing speed.
The results showed that at every assessment, being physically active was linked with higher cognitive ability and lifelong continuation of physical activity was most beneficial.